Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saving My Sanity (or Ma Santé Mentale)

I discovered something that has been saving my sanity lately.

Some days I am so busy and things are so crazy at work, I don't know how to slow down when I get off work.  In fact, sometimes I am genuinely surprised at how overwhelmingly busy work can be.  Sometimes I look at the clock and it's 3 pm and it feels like it should be 10 am and I am slightly panicked about how much I still need to accomplish before the end of my day.  I never end my day having accomplished everything I set out to do in the morning.  My job will always have a never ending task list that I will never actually reach the end of.  I  have accepted that but it does make my brain a little crazy.

Once I leave work I generally probably have some sort of school work I should attend to.  If it's not reading it's a paper, or articles, or presentations or a test.  You get the idea.  I read and write all day at work and then I read an write at home and if I have free time I am always trying to squeeze in either more reading that is also in relation to school and I feel will just help me be a better counselor OR I collapse on the couch and stare at The Real Housewives of Orange County for a hour while my brain does almost nothing.

It feels like I am either in full academic/psychology/behavioral health mode or my brain needs to completely escape.  And this is frequently a problem.  Because I find that my brain does not want to turn off.  Sometimes I literally cannot sit still for a whole episode of the Housewives just because my brain is still too engaged.

My other thing I have been experiencing lately is this feeling that this schedule is relentless and never ending.  Sometimes it really doesn't seem there will ever be a time in my life again that will involve free time of the sort of would like to find.  Or vacations.  I can't find the time to do so many things I would like to do because at least for the next year and 1/2, the time to do those things just doesn't exist.  I know I will get through it.

Saving my mind right now is Duo Lingo.

What the heck is Duolingo you may ask.  Well it's a phone app on which you can practice language skills in several other languages and the best part is, it's free.  

I learned some french in high school and college but I have never been proficient.  I LOOOOOOOVE this app.  When my brain can't turn off I just flip open this app and start practicing French and feel myself just completely in some sort of fantastic zen space.  Sometimes I can't stop and I have to force myself to move on to other tasks.  My french is getting so much better.  Yesterday on NPR there was a press conference in french which they translated - but I understood well over 50% of it before the translation.  It's awesome.  

If you want to brush up on a language you once kinda sorta learned a little of or if you want to learn one you've never tried I highly recommend it. It's like playing a video game but it's not a waste of time. 

Also.  I really want to go to France when I have a different situation wherein I can actually leave my house for an extended vacation at some point in the future.  My goal is to go the year I turn 50.  So learning French better feels like it is increasing my likelihood of having a better vacation. 

Which brings me to my one other sanity saver which I've discussed before.  Pinterest images of the places I'd like to go in France. 


French Riviera



Neptune Fountain - Versailles

French Riviera





But for now it's back to two papers I need to write.

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